The Mediator’s Role in Family Mediation: Part 2

Divorce is ranked second on the list of stressful events in one’s life, the first being death of a spouse. This is an emotional time for the parties. However, the only purpose of most settlement meetings is to resolve the outstanding legal issues in the divorce. Emotions and post-divorce dynamics are rarely factored into them.

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The Power of Finding and Using a BATNA & WATNA (Part 1 of 3)

A BATNA is the best alternative to a negotiated agreement, and the WATNA is the worst alternative to a negotiated agreement. Analysis and discussion of how to determine what each party’s BATNA and WATNA is and then the best ways to utilize this knowledge will be the focus of this set of articles.

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The Mediator’s Role in Family Mediation: Part 1

Divorce is ranked second on the list of stressful events in one’s life, the first being death of a spouse. This is an emotional time for the parties. However, the only purpose of most settlement meetings is to resolve the outstanding legal issues in the divorce. Emotions and post-divorce dynamics are rarely factored into them.

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Creative Mediation Options

One of the things I enjoy most about my job as a mediator is the flexibility inherent in the mediation process I utilize. Typically, I’m assuming, you see mediation as a process where you can confidently come together with other parties involved in litigation, call a timeout, and determine if the parties can reach an agreement to resolve the case. This is how I’m asked to lead mediations about 95% of the time. However, there are other circumstances in which I’ve been hired as a mediator, some of which may surprise you.

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How Do We Tell The Kids About Divorce?

Two of the most frequent questions asked by parents who decide to divorce is, “What should we tell the children?” and “How should we tell them?” Most parents feel anxious before  telling their children about the pending divorce.  The task can generate feelings of guilt, sadness, anger and shame. Parents want to protect their children from the pain of divorce, and especially from seeing themselves as the reason their parents divorced.

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Identifying a Power Imbalance (Part 2 of 2)

In the first of this pair of articles, we discussed the definition of a power imbalance, identified the types of power that may be utilized against another party, and the early signs of a power imbalance. Once a neutral identifies that one of the parties has more power than the other and is using their power to make the negotiations end in their favor, it is important for the neutral to act quickly to attempt to bring the power in the negotiations into balance between the parties.

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Share Mediation Briefs to Save Time and Get Better Results

Mediation briefs should be shared well before the mediation session: to save time in session; to give each side the full force of the other’s positions; to give each side time to carefully consider the other’s positions and calmly prepare a response; to begin establishing the settlement ballpark. Let’s consider the alternatives, their bases, and their effects.

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De-escalating Encounters with Confrontational People

If you are a conflict resolution professional, you are very likely to meet with angry, confrontational, and aggressive people on an almost daily basis. You may even be called in specifically to deal with them, if you are an HR professional or an ombuds. It’s almost inevitable. People in conflict are almost always emotional. Even business disputes aren’t “just business.” Our emotions affect every decision we make.

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